Klease awarded min­ing pi­o­neer

MOD­EST CEN­TRAL QUEENS­LAND IN­DUS­TRY WORKER SHOCKED TO RE­CEIVE TOP GONG FROM RIO TINTO

Central Queensland News - - CQ INDUSTRY -

EX­PE­RI­ENCED in­dus­try worker Cole Klease was lost for words when he won an in­ter­na­tional award, com­mend­ing his years of work and ded­i­ca­tion to the min­ing in­dus­try.

Mr Klease was awarded Rio Tinto En­ergy and Min­er­als Pi­o­neer of the Year 2017 for “his out­stand­ing com­mit­ment to un­der­ground mine safety and pro­tect­ing the lives of min­ers now and in the fu­ture”.

Mr Klease said he couldn’t be­lieve he was cho­sen for the award from thou­sands of Rio Tinto en­ergy and min­er­als em­ploy­ees world­wide.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather,” he said.

“I was pleas­antly shocked.

“It’s a huge hon­our, I’m still pinch­ing my­self.”

Mr Klease, who now works as a com­pli­ance co­or­di­na­tor and fire of­fi­cer at Kestrel mine near Emer­ald, has been in­volved in the min­ing in­dus­try for 39 years.

“I started out as a coal miner, be­came a deputy in 1983 and worked my way up and be­came a shift su­per­vi­sor in 2002,” Mr Klease said.

“I worked as an op­er­a­tions man­ager with the Queens­land Mines Res­cue Ser­vice from 2007-2012 and then I joined Rio Tinto in late 2012 to present.”

Now Mr Klease’s role in­volves com­pli­ance with emer­gency re­sponses and evac­u­a­tions, and work­ing as a statu­tory fire of­fi­cer.

On top of tak­ing out the award, which had an in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tor pool, Mr Klease was the maiden win­ner, with 2018 the first year Rio Tinto has hosted the ac­co­lades.

“It’s a great hon­our, I am very proud to get the award and I am still lost for words,” he said.

“I’m a quiet achiever, I don’t like draw­ing at­ten­tion to my­self and just go about my work and try to pass on my knowl­edge and skills of un­der­ground work. And if my help has helped one or two per­sons over the years then I have done my job.”

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